31. Declaration by the court.

Under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 the court may make a declaration as to whether an advance decision exists, is valid and is applicable to the treatment in question1.

Common law provisions prior to the Mental Capacity Act 20052 suggest that in cases where the withholding or withdrawal of treatment is contemplated from patients in a vegetative state, because of the gravity of the decision, the likely possible variation in the facts of individual cases, the protection of patients and practitioners, and the reassurance of patients' families and the public, application should be made to the court for a declaration